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John A Barnden
University of Birmingham
  1.  68
    Connectionism, generalization, and propositional attitudes: A catalogue of challenging issues.John A. Barnden - 1992 - In J. Dinsmore (ed.), The Symbolic and Connectionist Paradigms: Closing the Gap. Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 149--178.
    [Edited from Conclusion section:] We have looked at various challenging issues to do with getting connectionism to cope with high-level cognitive activities such a reasoning and natural language understanding. The issues are to do with various facets of generalization that are not commonly noted. We have been concerned in particular with the special forms these issues take in the arena of propositional attitude processing. The main problems we have looked at are: (1) The need to construct explicit representations of generalizations, (...)
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  2. The Meta-Dynamic Nature of Consciousness.John A. Barnden - 2020 - Entropy 22.
    How, if at all, consciousness can be part of the physical universe remains a baffling problem. This article outlines a new, developing philosophical theory of how it could do so, and offers a preliminary mathematical formulation of a physical grounding for key aspects of the theory. Because the philosophical side has radical elements, so does the physical-theory side. The philosophical side is radical, first, in proposing that the productivity or dynamism in the universe that many believe to be responsible for (...)
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  3.  30
    Metaphor and metonymy: Making their connections more slippery.John A. Barnden - 2010 - Cognitive Linguistics 21 (1):1-34.
    This paper continues the debate about how to distinguish metaphor from metonymy, and whether this can be done. It examines some of the differences that have been alleged to exist, and augments the already existing doubt about them. The main differences addressed are the similarity/contiguity distinction and the issue of whether source-target links are part of the message in metonymy or metaphor. In particular, the paper argues that metaphorical links can always be used metonymically and regarded as contiguities, and conversely (...)
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  4. Imputations and Explications: Representational Problems in Treatments of Prepositional Attitudes.John A. Barnden - 1986 - Cognitive Science 10 (3):319-364.
    The representation of propositional attitudes (beliefs, desires, etc.) and the analysis of natural-language, propositional-attitude reports presents difficult problems for cognitive science and artificial intelligence. In particular, various representational approaches to attitudes involve the incorrect “imputation,” to cognitive agents, of the use of artificial theory-laden notions. Interesting cases of this problem are shown to occur in several approaches to attitudes. The imputation problem is shown to arise from the way that representational approaches explicate properties and relationships, and in particular from the (...)
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  5. Simulative reasoning, common-sense psychology and artificial intelligence.John A. Barnden - 1995 - In Martin Davies & Tony Stone (eds.), Mental Simulation: Evaluations and Applications. Blackwell. pp. 247--273.
    The notion of Simulative Reasoning in the study of propositional attitudes within Artificial Intelligence (AI) is strongly related to the Simulation Theory of mental ascription in Philosophy. Roughly speaking, when an AI system engages in Simulative Reasoning about a target agent, it reasons with that agent’s beliefs as temporary hypotheses of its own, thereby coming to conclusions about what the agent might conclude or might have concluded. The contrast is with non-simulative meta-reasoning, where the AI system reasons within a detailed (...)
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  6. Pre-Reflective Self-Consciousness: A Meta-Causal Approach.John A. Barnden - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (2):397-425.
    I present considerations surrounding pre-reflective self-consciousness, arising in work I am conducting on a new physicalist, process-based account of [phenomenal] consciousness. The account is called the meta-causal account because it identifies consciousness with a certain type of arrangement of meta-causation. Meta-causation is causation where a cause or effect is itself an instance of causation. The proposed type of arrangement involves a sort of time-spanning, internal reflexivity of the overall meta-causation. I argue that, as a result of the account, any conscious (...)
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  7. Varieties and Directions of Interdomain Influence in Metaphor.John A. Barnden, Sheila R. Glasbey, Mark G. Lee & Alan M. Wallington - 2004 - Metaphor and Symbol 19 (1):1-30.
    We consider the varieties and directions of influence that the source and target domains involved in a conceptual metaphor can have on each other during the course of understanding metaphorical utterances based on the metaphor. Previous studies have been restricted both as to direction of influence and as to type of influence. They have been largely confined to the “forward” (source to target) direction of influence, and they have concentrated on the transfer of features or propositions and (to some extent) (...)
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  8. Consciousness and Common Sense: Metaphors of Mind.John A. Barnden - 1997 - In Sean O. Nuallain, Paul Mc Kevitt & Eoghan Mac Aogain (eds.), Two Sciences of Mind. John Benjamins. pp. 311-340.
    The science of the mind, and of consciousness in particular, needs carefully to consider people's common-sense views of the mind, not just what the mind really is. Such views are themselves an aspect of the nature of (conscious) mind, and therefore part of the object of study for a science of mind. Also, since the common-sense views allow broadly successful social interaction, it is reasonable to look to the common-sense views for some rough guidance as to the real nature of (...)
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  9.  79
    Michael A. Arbib, The metaphorical brain 2: Neural networks and beyond.John A. Barnden - 1998 - Artificial Intelligence 101 (1-2):301-309.
    The book is thought-provoking and informative, wide in scope while also being technically detailed, and still relevant to modem AI [at least as of 1998, the time of writing this review, but probably also at the time of posting this entry here, 2023] even though it was published in 1989. This relevance lies mainly in the book’s advocacy of distributed computation at multiple levels of description, its combining of neural networks and other techniques, its emphasis on the interplay between action (...)
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  10.  65
    Metaphor and its unparalleled meaning and truth.John A. Barnden & Alan M. Wallington - 2010 - In Armin Burkhardt & Brigitte Nerlich (eds.), Tropical Truth: The Epistemology of Metaphor and Other Tropes. De Gruyter. pp. 85-122.
    This article arises indirectly out of the development of a particular approach, called ATT-Meta, to the understanding of some types of metaphorical utterance. However, the specifics of the approach are not the focus of the present article, which concentrates on some general issues that have informed, or arisen from, the development of the approach. The article connects those issues to the questions of metaphorical meaning and truth. -/- A large part of the exploration of metaphor in fields such as Cognitive (...)
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  11. Time phases, pointers, rules and embedding.John A. Barnden - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (3):451-452.
    This paper is a commentary on the target article by Lokendra Shastri & Venkat Ajjanagadde [S&A]: “From simple associations to systematic reasoning: A connectionist representation of rules, variables and dynamic bindings using temporal synchrony” in same issue of the journal, pp.417–451. -/- It puts S&A's temporal-synchrony binding method in a broader context, comments on notions of pointing and other ways of associating information - in both computers and connectionist systems - and mentions types of reasoning that are a challenge to (...)
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  12. Connectionist value units: Some concerns.John A. Barnden - 1986 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 9 (1):92-93.
    This paper is a commentary on the target article by Dana H. Ballard, “Cortical connections and parallel processing: Structure and function”, in the same issue of the journal, pp. 67–120. -/- I raise some issues about the connectionist or neural-network implementation of information and information processing. Issues include the sharing of information by different parts of a connectionist/neural network, the copying of complex information from one place to another in a network, the possibility of connection weights not being synaptic weights, (...)
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  13.  93
    Chaos, symbols, and connectionism.John A. Barnden - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (2):174-175.
    The paper is a commentary on the target article by Christine A. Skarda & Walter J. Freeman, “How brains make chaos in order to make sense of the world”, in the same issue of the journal, pp.161–195. -/- I confine my comments largely to some philosophical claims that Skarda & Freeman make and to the relationship of their model to connectionism. Some of the comments hinge on what symbols are and how they might sit in neural systems.
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  14.  42
    Deceived by metaphor.John A. Barnden - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):105-106.
    This paper is a commentary on Arthur Mele's "Real Self-Deception" in the same issue of the journal. I argue that the views of self-deception that Mele attacks are thoroughly metaphorical, and should never have purported to imply the existence of real internal acts of deception. Research on self-deception, including Mele's appealing account, could be enriched and constrained by a broader investigation of the prevalent use of metaphor in thinking and talking about the mind.
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  15.  3
    Metaphor, self-reflection, and the nature of mind.John A. Barnden - 2005 - In D. N. Davis (ed.), Visions of Mind: Architectures for Cognition and Affect. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Inc.. pp. 45-65.
    This chapter speculatively addresses the nature and effects of metaphorical views that a mind can intermittently use in thinking about itself and other minds, such as the view of mind as a physical space in which ideas have physical locations. Although such views are subjective, it is argued in this chapter that they are nevertheless part of the real nature of the conscious and unconscious mind. In particular, it is conjectured that if a mind entertains a particular (metaphorical) view at (...)
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  16.  58
    Quantification without variables in connectionism.John A. Barnden & Kankanahalli Srinivas - 1996 - Minds and Machines 6 (2):173-201.
    Connectionist attention to variables has been too restricted in two ways. First, it has not exploited certain ways of doing without variables in the symbolic arena. One variable-avoidance method, that of logical combinators, is particularly well established there. Secondly, the attention has been largely restricted to variables in long-term rules embodied in connection weight patterns. However, short-lived bodies of information, such as sentence interpretations or inference products, may involve quantification. Therefore short-lived activation patterns may need to achieve the effect of (...)
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  17.  75
    The centrality of instantiations.John A. Barnden - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (3):437-438.
    This paper is a commentary on the target article by Michael Arbib, “Levels of modeling of mechanisms of visually guided behavior”, in the same issue of the journal, pp. 407–465. -/- I focus on the importance of the inclusion of an ability of a system to entertain, at a given time, multiple instantiations of a given schema (situation template, frame, script, action plan, etc.), and complications introduced into neural/connectionist network systems by such inclusion.
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  18.  27
    Uncertainty and conflict handling in the ATT-Meta context-based system for metaphorical reasoning.John A. Barnden - 2001 - In P. Bouquet V. Akman (ed.), Modeling and Using Context. Springer. pp. 15--29.
    At a previous conference (CONTEXT’99), the author described the ATT-Meta context-based AI system for (a) reasoning uncertainly about agents’ beliefs and (b) performing some of the uncertain reasoning needed for the understanding of metaphorical language. ATT-Meta’s handling of uncertainty is qualitative, and includes provisions for adjudicating conflicts between different lines of reasoning. But most of the detail on conflict-handling given in the earlier paper concerned conflicts arising for the special requirements of (a). Furthermore, there have been major recent changes in (...)
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  19.  34
    Unconscious gaps in Jackendoff 's "How language helps us think"?John A. Barnden - 1996 - Pragmatics and Cognition 4 (1):65-80.
    Jackendoff comes to some appealing overall conclusions, but several of his assumptions and arguments are questionable. The present commentary points out the following problems: oversimplifications in the translation-based argument for the independence of language and thought; a lack of consideration of the possibility of unconscious use of internalized natural languages; insufficient consideration of possible characteristics of languages of thought ; neglect of the possibility of thinking in example-oriented and metaphorical ways; unfair bias in contrasting visual to linguistic imagery; neglect of (...)
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  20.  12
    Unconscious gaps in Jackendoff 's "How language helps us think"?John A. Barnden - 1995 - Pragmatics and Cognition 4 (1):65-80.
    Jackendoff comes to some appealing overall conclusions, but several of his assumptions and arguments are questionable. The present commentary points out the following problems: oversimplifications in the translation-based argument for the independence of language and thought; a lack of consideration of the possibility of unconscious use of internalized natural languages; insufficient consideration of possible characteristics of languages of thought ; neglect of the possibility of thinking in example-oriented and metaphorical ways; unfair bias in contrasting visual to linguistic imagery; neglect of (...)
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  21. Uncertain reasoning about agents' beliefs and reasoning.John A. Barnden - 2001 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 9 (2-3):115-152.
    Reasoning about mental states and processes is important in various subareas of the legal domain. A trial lawyer might need to reason and the beliefs, reasoning and other mental states and processes of members of a jury; a police officer might need to reason about the conjectured beliefs and reasoning of perpetrators; a judge may need to consider a defendant's mental states and processes for the purposes of sentencing and so on. Further, the mental states in question may themselves be (...)
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